Today Mandie joins the tour for I Know What I Saw, the latest novel from Imran Mahmood. Thanks to publisher Raven Books for the advance copy for review and to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for the tour invite. If you’d like to know what I thought of the book you can find my review right here. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
I saw it. He smothered her, pressing his hands on her face. The police don’t believe me, they say it’s impossible – but I know what I saw.
This is Xander Shute: once a wealthy banker, now living on the streets.
As he shelters for the night in an empty Mayfair flat, he hears its occupants returning home, and scrambles to hide as the couple argue. Trapped in his hiding place, he soon finds himself witnessing a vicious murder.
But who was the dead woman, who the police later tell him can’t have been there? And why is the man Xander saw her with evading justice?
As Xander searches for answers, his memory of the crime comes under scrutiny, forcing him to confront his long-buried past and the stories he’s told about himself.
How much he is willing to risk to understand the brutal truth?
I had heard good things about this book so when I had the chance to bump it up my reading list, I jumped at it, and I am so glad I did as it was so different from what I had been reading recently and the story drew me in right from the beginning ensuring that I read it within 2 days.
Xander Shute is homeless and living on the street, whilst trying to find shelter after getting into a fight he witnesses a murder. When he tries to report what he witnessed to the police they do not believe him and initially arrest him for wasting police time. Despite all this Xander is determined to prove what he claims is true even if it means confronting things and people from his past.
This story is so much more than a man trying to prove that he has not imagined a crime. Throughout the book we get to witness what life for Xander was like before he became homeless. He had a good life and a good career, but he never seemed truly happy so when this life starts to fall apart, he literally walks away from everything for a life on the streets. Despite all the hardships that this presents him with he does seem at peace with himself. What follows though has him doubting his own mind and will have the reader wondering just how reliable Xander is.
Imran Mahmood has created a multi dimensional character that will evoke compassion and frustration in equal measure. Xander has shunned what is considered a normal life for so long he is often resistant to the help from those who seem to care for him and want to help him in whatever way they can. His convictions about what he saw against the evidence available will have you wondering how reliable he is especially as the story progresses. His circumstances are such that he is looked on as someone not to be trusted, a liar. At times even Xander doubts himself and his recollections. There is a kind of heart-breaking inevitability to the conclusion to the book but with many twists and turns along the way. For me this was a brilliant and compelling book that is one of my favourite reads of the year so far.
About the Author
Imran is a practicing barrister with almost 30 years’ experience fighting cases in court. He hails from Liverpool but now lives in London with his wife and daughters. His debut novel You Don’t Know Me was chosen by Simon Mayo as a BBC Radio 2 Book Club Choice for 2017 and longlisted for Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year and for the CWA Gold Dagger, and is currently being adapted for screen in four parts. When not in court or writing novels he can sometimes be found on the Red Hot Chilli Writers’ podcast as one of the regular contributors.
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